United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Southeastern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
W. SIPPEL, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 405(g)
seeking judicial review of the Commissioner's decision
denying his application for supplemental security income
pursuant to Title XVI of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C.
§§ 1381 et seq. Because the
Commissioner's final decision is supported by substantial
evidence on the record as a whole, I will affirm the decision
of the Commissioner.
alleges he became disabled as of March 15, 2015, because of
bipolar depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder,
and attention deficit disorder.
application was initially denied on November 23, 2015. After
a hearing before an ALJ on October 4, 2017, the ALJ issued a
decision denying benefits on January 10, 2018. On June 26,
2018, the Appeals Council denied plaintiff's request for
review. The ALJ's decision is thus the final decision of
the Commissioner. 42 U.S.C. § 405(g).
action for judicial review, plaintiff asks that I reverse the
Commissioner's final decision and remand the matter for
further evaluation. For the reasons that follow, I will
affirm the Commissioner's decision.
Records and Other Evidence Before the ALJ
respect to the medical records and other evidence of record,
I adopt plaintiff's recitation of facts set forth in his
Statement of Material Facts (ECF #11-1) to the extent
admitted by the Commissioner (ECF #16-1). I also adopt the
additional facts set forth in the Commissioner's
Statement of Additional Material Facts (ECF #16-2), as they
are admitted by plaintiff . (ECF # 17-1). The uncontroverted
statements adopted by the Court provide a fair and accurate
description of the relevant record. Additional specific facts
will be discussed as needed to address the parties'
eligible for supplemental security income benefits under the
Social Security Act, plaintiff must prove that he is
disabled. Pearsall v. Massanari, 274 F.3d 1211, 1217
(8th Cir. 2001); Baker v. Secretary of Health & Human
Servs., 955 F.2d 552, 555 (8th Cir. 1992). The Social
Security Act defines disability as the “inability to
engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of any
medically determinable physical or mental impairment which
can be expected to result in death or which has lasted or can
be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than
12 months.” 42 U.S.C. § 423(d)(1)(A). An
individual will be declared disabled “only if [his]
physical or mental impairment or impairments are of such
severity that [he] is not only unable to do [his] previous
work but cannot, considering [his] age, education, and work
experience, engage in any other kind of substantial gainful
work which exists in the national economy.” 42 U.S.C.
determine whether a claimant is disabled, the Commissioner
engages in a five-step evaluation process. See 20
C.F.R. § 404.1520; Bowen v. Yuckert, 482 U.S.
137, 140-42 (1987). The Commissioner begins by deciding
whether the claimant is engaged in substantial gainful
activity. If the claimant is working, disability benefits are
denied. Next, the Commissioner decides whether the claimant
has a “severe” impairment or combination of
impairments, meaning that which significantly limits his
ability to do basic work activities. If the claimant's
impairment(s) is not severe, then he is not disabled. The
Commissioner then determines whether claimant's
impairment(s) meets or equals one of the impairments listed
in 20 C.F.R., Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1. If
claimant's impairment(s) is equivalent to one of the
listed impairments, he is conclusively disabled. At the
fourth step, the Commissioner establishes whether the
claimant can perform his past relevant work. If so, the
claimant is not disabled. Finally, the Commissioner evaluates
various factors to determine whether the claimant is capable
of performing any other work in the economy. If not, the
claimant is declared disabled and becomes entitled to
affirm the Commissioner's decision if it is supported by
substantial evidence on the record as a whole. 42 U.S.C.
§ 405(g); Richardson v. Perales, 402 U.S. 389,
401 (1971); Estes v. Barnhart, 275 F.3d 722, 724
(8th Cir. 2002). Substantial evidence is less than a
preponderance but enough that a reasonable person would find
it adequate to support the conclusion. Johnson v.
Apfel, 240 F.3d 1145, 1147 (8th Cir. 2001). Determining
whether there is substantial evidence requires scrutinizing
analysis. Coleman v. Astrue, 498 F.3d 767, 770 (8th
consider evidence that supports the Commissioner's
decision as well as any evidence that fairly detracts from
the decision. McNamara v. Astrue, 590 F.3d 607, 610
(8th Cir. 2010). If, after reviewing the entire record, it is
possible to draw two inconsistent positions and the
Commissioner has adopted one of those positions, I must
affirm the Commissioner's decision. Anderson v.
Astrue, 696 F.3d 790, 793 (8th Cir. 2012). I may not
reverse the ...